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Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Reader's Diary #1254- Craig Thompson: Space Dumplins

After the decidedly mature Blankets, I wasn't sure what to expect with Craig Thompson's take on a space adventure aimed at younger readers, but Space Dumplins was wild, colourful, and fun.

There's a lot in here that reminded me of others' work: Adventure Time, Sponge Bob, Ren and Stimpy, the Jetsons, etc. Not that any of these are bad things. The art and jokes are quirky, sometimes witty, sometimes just gross. This is not a bad combination, nor is to suggest Thompson hasn't created something unique or added his own original flair. (Check out his use of speech balloons!)

The tale of a girl off to save her father in space along with her two polar opposite, but equally misfit friends, clicks along with such energy it would be next to impossible for any kid to turn away.

For the adult readers, there are still a lot of mature themes to explore, much in the same way of the better Pixar movies. Classism, animal rights, environmental concerns, are all measured out so cleverly that you almost don't realize there's more going on beyond the bright lights and puns.Will kids pick up on it? Perhaps, perhaps not, but at least seeds of critical thought will be planted.

The art, with with its many curves, is frenetic, adding to the pacing and the colours, like a black-lit mini-golf course, lend a sense of awe for the outer space setting.

1 comment:

Nicola Mansfield said...

I really enjoyed this too! It was up for a Cybil in 2015 and one of the most "fun" books nominated. It didn't make the shortlist but was tossed around a bit.